We launched our Count Me In survey with a big goal: to have 1,000 Jews of Color participate. We knew it was ambitious. But we also knew if we could count on anyone to show up it would be our JoC family. We believed Jews of Color across the U.S. would be ready to share their experiences and perspectives to help make an equitable future for the entire community of Jews of Color. We could not be prouder to extend our gratitude to the community—we had 1,029 participants!
You took our survey, shared it on social media, shared it with your communities far and wide, and made reaching our goal possible. Now that the survey has closed, what’s next for the Count Me In study?
The survey we asked you to take is one part of the study we’ve commissioned. Led by our research team housed at Stanford University, the study has three major components.
The first component happened before the survey was even developed. In order to construct a survey that reflected not just the ideas of the research team but the larger Jews of Color community, the team first held approximately 30 interviews with Jews of Color.
“Whenever I develop surveys, I always do interviews first,” said lead researcher Dr. Tobin Belzer. Designing the study by working with the community is a feminist approach to research methods, a specialty of Dr. Belzer’s. “Surveys are only as good as the questions you know how to ask,” she explained.
The majority of the interviews were conducted by research team member Vincent Calvetti, a Ph.D. student studying at the University of Washington. Vincent shared that he was “excited to be able to do the actual nitty gritty work of interviewing so many different people,” searching for trends and “patterns that emerge from the collection of testimonies.”
After analyzing the content of these 30 interviews, the research team created the Count Me In survey with the consultation of a research advisory committee of JoC leaders and stakeholders. While the researchers only needed a relatively small number of interviews to hear the in-depth experiences of Jews of Color, the survey has allowed the team to hear from a much larger population. Reaching over 1,000 Jews of Color through our survey means that the results of the study can represent a significant portion of the JoC community.
The research team knows that the responses to our survey “will surface other questions,” as Dr. Ari Y. Kelman explained. That’s why the study doesn’t end with the survey. After the research team analyzes all the responses, they will conduct another round of interviews to deepen their understandings of participants’ experiences.
Researchers often use this type of multi-step research when they want their studies to represent a wide spectrum of perspectives—captured by surveys—as well as the depth of lived experiences—captured by interviews.
Now that the Count Me In survey has closed, the research team is hard at work combing through the responses. Beginning Summer 2021, we will work in partnership with JoC leaders nationwide to share the findings. Whatever the findings tell us, we can be certain that we will know much more about the experiences and perspectives of Jews of Color in the U.S. than ever before.